Social TV News: Internet Ad Revenue Surpasses TV: Viacom to Offer Social Media Guarantees: Twitter’s TV Impact Under Fire

A new industry survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers on behalf of the Interactive Advertising Bureau reports that internet ad revenues have overtaken TV for the first time ever in 2013. Although the study marks a truly historic occasion, president and CEO of the IAB, Randall Rothenberg, asserts, “The news that interactive has outperformed broadcast television should come as no surprise. It speaks to the power that digital screens have in reaching and engaging audiences.”

It should be equally unsurprising then, that mobile is playing a huge role in the revenue story. The report details the fact that revenue from mobile has grown more than any other ad format, to 19% in 4Q13 from 11% in 4Q12. Rothenburrg continues, “the triple-digit growth of mobile is clearly a direct response to how smaller digital screens play an integral role in consumers’ lives throughout the day, as well as their critical importance to cross-screen experiences.”

Tellingly, there is no mention of social media within the entire 28-page report. The ROI on social has been, and continues to be, notoriously hard to pin down, but there are signs of change on this front as well.

Through a new measurement platform known as Echograph, Viacom and Mass Relevance are teaming up to “guarantee certain levels of social reach and targeting for client campaigns”. In a press release that was light on specifics, Jeff Lucas, Head of Sales, Music and Entertainment at Viacom Media Networks claims, “We’ve cracked the code on how to connect advertisers to the enormous social activity around our networks but, until now, the missing piece was comprehensive measurement”.

Measurement is that first step towards monetization.

And not just for the TV networks. Measurement has  played a critical role for Twitter in developing its own monetization strategy. Speaking at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, Mike Park, senior manager of Twitter Amplify, referenced Twitter’s 241 million active users (66% of whom purportedly tweet while watching TV) as a huge potential for advertisers.

Across the pond, UK MD of Twitter, Bruce Daisley, mulled over new research from Twitter and Thinkbox, “The increasing evidence we’re seeing is that there is a symbiotic effect. So when tweets go up, viewing [of the related TV show] goes up… and when the viewing of a show goes up we see evidence of tweets going up as well.”

Elsewhere in Europe, Twitter’s chief media scientist, Deb Roy, was touting the party line at the MIPTV television industry conference in Cannes. “No matter how you slice it, the complementary activity of having Twitter active with television seems to be leading to positive outcomes from the advertiser point of view” said Roy.

A recent study conducted by the Advertising Research Foundation in partnership with Twitter and Fox was filled with stats in support of such statements, among them: “90 percent of Twitter users who see a TV show-related tweet are likely to immediately watch the show, search for more information, or share tweet-based content about that show” and “54 percent of Twitter users who recall seeing brand-related tweets during a TV show have taken action (tweeting about, searching for or considering the brand)”.

But another new study, sponsored by the Council for Research Excellence and conducted by Nielsen with help from the Keller Fay Group, seemed to cast some doubts about Twitter’s ambitious assertions. The study found that TV promos are still the number one driver behind viewers’ decisions to watch new shows, accounting for 40% of decisions to view newly premiering shows, vs. 7% for social media. This news prompted Mashable to run an article under the headline “The Social TV Revolution Isn’t Here Yet” while The New York Times wrote: “The research findings contradict the notion — peddled heavily by Twitter and Facebook in their pitches to producers — that conversations on Twitter and Facebook are a big factor driving people to tune into TV shows”. From there it was easy for the rest of the naysayers to pile on.

In reality, the CRE study is just one more in a growing pile of studies (including a very recent one from Deloitte) and its findings on simultaneous TV and social media usage are hardly a radical departure from the findings in the past. The more important story is the mounting evidence that Facebook, not Twitter, is the biggest player in the Social TV space.

The CRE study revealed that 11.4 percent of people use Facebook while watching TV, versus just 3.3 percent of people use Twitter. Interestingly, but perhaps unsurprisingly, this fact was not highlighted in the Key Findings of the report (both Twitter and Facebook are members of the CRE). Although Facebook has been eager for a piece of the Social TV pie, Twitter is doing everything in its power to shut the rival social network out (Twitter bought Trendrr and SecondSync shortly after these social TV analytics companies announced partnerships with Facebook).

As Twitter dukes it out with Facebook over Social TV dollars, they may also have to start worrying about Google. That advertising dollars are increasingly shifting from TV to Internet, is certainly not lost on the search giant. In a new study,  The Role of Digital in TV Research, Fanship and Viewing, Google claims 90 percent of TV viewers visit YouTube and Google Search and two-thirds of viewers of new television shows search online before tuning in. The insights released by the company make a strong case for why Search and YouTube should be a prerequisite part of TV spending.

Keep reading for more social TV stories from around the web.

Advertisers are spending more money on the internet than on TV for the first time ever via The Verge
Internet ads are as old of the internet itself, but broadcast television always remained the place advertisers spent most of their money — despite the millions and millions spending hours every day online. However, that balance has been upset for the first time: according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), internet ad revenues for 2013 hit $42.8 billion, surpassing broadcast TV ad revenues of $40.1 billion.

Viacom Looks to Set Social Media Guarantees via AdAge
Viacom isn’t planning to guarantee that a simple flight of TV commercials will generate a certain amount of social activity. A hypothetical buy under the new program could instead involve a marketer commissioning custom social-ready content — video, gifs, images — from Viacom Velocity, to be distributed through the company’s various social accounts and its partnerships with players like Twitter and Tumblr…As Viacom and Mass Relevance gain in-market experience using Echograph over the next few months, they expect to be able to guarantee certain levels of social reach and targeting for client campaigns.

Twitter and TV: How should brands respond to multi-screening? via My Customer
“The increasing evidence we’re seeing is that there is a symbiotic effect. So when tweets go up, viewing [of the related TV show] goes up… and when the viewing of a show goes up we see evidence of tweets going up as well.”…”When an advertiser gets the first and second screen locked together, it has an incredibly high impact,” Daisley confirmed, with Mortensen later revealing that the TV and Twitter combination was found to be “five times” more effective at driving positive responses than either channel is on its own.

Twitter Is Dominating The Second Screen [STATS] via All Twitter
•    90 percent of Twitter users who see a TV show-related tweet are likely to immediately watch the show, search for more information, or share tweet-based content about that show
•    TV-related tweets are most likely to be engaged with if they come from a cast member of the show (40 percent) rather than the user’s friends or family (26 percent) or the show’s official Twitter account (18 percent)
•    54 percent of Twitter users who recall seeing brand-related tweets during a TV show have taken action (tweeting about, searching for or considering the brand)
•    72 percent of Twitter users tweet during live broadcasts

Twitter stakes its claim as TV’s ‘synchronised social soundtrack’ via The Gaurdian
Twitter is working with research firms like Nielsen to pursue a twin strategy of wooing broadcasters with data indicating that Twitter buzz around a show can persuade more people to tune in, while trying to convince brands that if they advertise around “highly social” shows, they’ll get a better return on their investment.

Twitter Exec: Amplify Allows for a ‘Marketer’s Dream’ via 2nd Screen Society
There were approximately 1 billion Tweets surrounding broadcast TV in the U.S. in 2013, up 25% year over year, Park said, offering enormous potential for brands and advertisers to reach consumer directly through Twitter. Twitter currently has 241 million active users, 76% of which are on a mobile device and 66% reporting they Tweet while watching TV.

Twitter’s TV-Centricness Dials Up Sprint’s ‘Framily’ Effort via eMarketer
More important than reach is that Twitter has captured the in-the-moment space. This is incredible for marketers, especially in our case where we’ve focused with them on the branding front.

Twitter and Facebook Wield Little Influence on TV Watching via NYT
Facebook was by far the most popular social network for people chatting during shows, used by about 11.4 percent of TV watchers, compared with 3.3 percent for Twitter. The research findings contradict the notion — peddled heavily by Twitter and Facebook in their pitches to producers — that conversations on Twitter and Facebook are a big factor driving people to tune into TV shows.

The Social TV Revolution Isn’t Here Yet via Mashable
Some 16% of online Americans currently use social media while watching primetime TV, according to a survey of nearly 1,665 individuals for the Council for Research Excellence conducted by Nielsen. Yet only 7.3% of primetime viewers actually use social media to talk about the TV show they are watching at that moment.

Deloitte Digital Democracy Survey: More Digital Omnivores, More Distraction via Lost Remote
86 percent of U.S. consumers multitask while watching TV (up from a little less than three quarters in 2011). Still, only 22 percent of multitasking activities directly relate to the shows being watched. Bridging the gap between the 86 percent and the 22 percent has become the chief concern of social TV producers.

YouTube Exec’s Speech About Engaged Fanbases Is Worth Checking Out via Tubefilter
“An audience tunes in when they’re told to; a fan chooses when and what to watch,” explained Carloss. “An audience sits back and consumes media; a fanbase leans forward and wants to participate. An audience changes the channel when its show is over; a fanbase shares it, comments it, curates it, creates. An audience lives within your borders, and a fanbase breaks those borders down.”

Google Says Digital Activity Impacts Television Viewing via Broadcasting & Cable
TV related searches on Google have grown 16%, and on YouTube, TV related searches are up 54% from last year…On average, the YouTube community creates seven pieces of video for every one video a network uploads for a show.

Like Facebook and Twitter, Google Tries to Prove TV Needs Its Help via The Wrap
Like Facebook, Twitter and many other technology companies, Google wants more of Hollywood’s money. It believes TV networks should view YouTube as a cornerstone of their marketing campaigns, an indispensable tool for speaking to younger viewers…Just look at Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel. Their shows have succeeded in part because of their willingness to cultivate an audience on YouTube by posting clips. While 10 million people watched Fallon’s debut, 20 million watched him on YouTube.

Live Music on TV Is Experiencing Something of a Golden Age via Adweek
Not anymore. NBC, American Express and YouTube have all launched live music events, muscling their way onto an already crowded platform—and all are driven by the promise of brand exposure, social chatter and massive audience numbers.

Netflix, Hulu and … Yahoo? Why Marissa Mayer Wants Original TV Programming via Mashable
this could serve as an effective two-pronged approach to attract advertisers. By purchasing a video service like NDN, he says the company would improve its perception among advertisers in the short-term by increasing its video inventory, which “would allow it to tell a story about how great it is in video.” High-quality original content, on the other hand, might lead to more “durable” revenue growth in the long-term. But the latter comes with some significant risk.

BuzzFeed launches ‘Social Tune In Program’ with Bravo and IFC as first partners via Lost Remote
PR departments at TV networks already know how important the site is from a news perspective. Now marketing and social teams and the networks will be able to compliment the organic efforts with more targeted ads around TV shows.

BuzzFeed’s New Pitch To TV Networks: Use Our Brand via WSJ
The new advertising services highlight how BuzzFeed, an online publisher which creates content designed to be shared through social media, is attempting to become a more important venue for entertainment advertising – a market that big social media sites and online publishers are targeting aggressively. “We’re an entertainment marketing company,” said Jon Steinberg, BuzzFeed’s Chief Operating Officer.

CNN Partners With Twitter for New 15-Second Video Series via Mashable
CNN is partnering with Twitter for a new video series called Your 15 Second Morning, which will highlight one or more big topics from the day in a 15-second clip embedded natively on the social network and shared from CNN’s main Twitter account.

Social TV on the Rise: Almost One in Two Online Australians Engaging in Digital Conversation via Nieslen
In addition to the reach of social TV, the frequency of participation has also increased. Nearly one in five online Australians partake in social TV activity on at least a weekly basis (17%), up from 11 percent in 2012.

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